Now that we're well under way for the 2013 day care calendar year, I'd like to take some time to go over some bookkeeping items. There is going to be an $8/student fee for miscellaneous sundries and arts and crafts supplies (discussed in detail below). There is a waiver form attached for a field trip that I'll need returned. And, sadly, there are several apologies that need to be made for the various hiccups that have occurred during this, the first two weeks of the Bucholz Early Learning Experience.
#9. I Am Sorry About the Big Big Savings
This might seem an odd apology, but it gets to the root of some of the issues we've faced this school year. Specifically, I'm sorry that you find it necessary to use a day care in the first place. We live in an era where families require two or even three parents to be earning paychecks to make ends meet, meaning many of you don't even have the option of spending the day with your children. Or you find them so objectionable that you choose not to. Either way, I'm greatly saddened by the circumstances that led you to choose such a suspiciously cheap option for caring for your little treasures.
#8. I Am Sorry About the Facilities
It's not unheard of for there to be a day care with no fixed address; in the time of hunter-gatherer tribes, the children would be left for the day with a group of caretaker adults who would remain somewhat mobile, a tradition that the Bucholz Early Learning Experience is proud to have guessed at without much research, and equally proud to carry on. And for the parents, the benefits of having door-to-door pickup and delivery are hard to deny.
"As you can see by this complicated paperwork, madam, this all looks pretty legit."
I know many of you may be surprised by this, and have assumed that the vehicle taking your child away every morning was just the pickup service and not in fact the entire day care itself, but in my defense, you didn't ask many hard questions, did you?
"$12 a month? Where do I sign?"
As some of you who were early adopters of the Bucholz Early Learning Experience will recall, my initial rolling day care was a 2002 Honda Civic, which, on a simple volume basis (with the rear seats down), I had estimated room for a class of about 25 toddlers. But due to word of mouth and a really shocking lack of judgment in your community, enrollment soon soared, and I was forced to upgrade the facilities.
The Bucholz Early Learning Experience XL, which is what most of you will be familiar with, is the brightly painted dump truck I borrowed from my cousin's failed contracting company. And although it lacks some of the features of the smaller facility, like seat belts and carpeted flooring, and no longer permits the children the simple pleasure of sticking their heads out the window, the extra space allows for a lot more nurturing flexibility. It actually already came with some wooden blocks in there for stacking and just generally having fun with ...
... and my cousin even threw in some arts and crafts supplies.
Meggar via Wikimedia Commons
Well. Mostly just carpenter's glue. But he threw in a lot of it.
#7. I Am Sorry About Gluing All the Children Together
It was the children who did this, really, not me, but that's a fine point that you might not share. I mean, if a drum of wood glue is put in the back of a multi-axle day care being driven by someone missing all sorts of the necessary licenses for doing that, it is arguably not entirely the children's fault when they get glued together.
It took a long time for me to even notice what the children had done, and even then I at first assumed that the children were just teaching themselves about infantry formations from antiquity.
"Closer, children, or the Persians will cut you to ribbons."
This kind of organic, self-guided learning happens a lot when you put 40 children in the back of a moving vehicle, I've found (for much of the previous week, the children had been teaching themselves about wrestling). It wasn't until an hour after that, when I noticed that none of them had broken rank, that I clued in. (Normally your children lack discipline -- the difference in attitude was remarkable. I'd suggest looking into glue-based punishments at home.)
#6. I Am Sorry I Didn't Cancel the Field Trip
In a sense, every day is a field trip, even if it is just down to the Walmart parking lot. But on this particular day, I had promised the children a fun day at the zoo and wanted to hold my word, glue or no. They were extraordinarily excited, you see, which leads me to think you're not taking your children to the zoo enough. Or, perhaps, you're regularly taking them to a really awesome zoo.
Like one of the ones with giraffe fights.
Because they were not impressed with the zoo I took them to, which was the one off the highway rest stop just north of town. It's more of a grassy area beside the highway rest stop, I know now, but it always looked a lot bigger from the highway. So did the bears actually, which it turned out were just picnic tables.
And one actual bear.